In my search for a good lentil soup recipe, I have tried a few good ones but this recipe beats them all. Far from bland, it has a spicy kick and a acidic touch from the lemon.
This recipe is a big batch, and is great to make if you don’t have a lot of time during the week – you can eat it as a soup or eat it as a sauce on your rice the next day with some roasted zucchini, onions, broccoli, or chicken on the side. I brought it for lunch and it was even better the next day.
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup
(adapted from Food & Wine magazine and “These peas are Hollow”)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon hot curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you like it spicy)
- 8 cups (2 liter) of vegetable stock (you can also use water)
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes (I prefer to use whole peeled tomatoes from San Marzano. Add the juices and tear the tomatoes apart with your hands)
- 2 cups (14 ounces) red lentils
- Salt and pepper to taste
Greek yogurt or plain yogurt mixed with lemon juice
You can also add:
Roasted garbanzo beans (chick peas)
Chopped cilantro or chives
Serve with any type of bread (or better yet homemade roti, see recipe here) and lemon wedges on the side for a more spicy and sour flavor.
- Cutting board
- 1 large stockpot
- Wooden spoon
- Hand held blender
- In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and curry powder, and stir to coat the veggies. Cook for a few minutes to toast the spices.
- Add the tomatoes and the stock and bring to a simmer. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the lentils. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until lentils and vegetables are very soft.
- While the soup is cooking, you can make the roasted garbanzo beans and the roti
- Using your hand held blender, puree the soup; you can do it directly in the pot, as it is much easier than transferring your soup in small batches into a blender. Season with salt and pepper. If you like it a bit spicier, you can add a little cayenne pepper and more black pepper.
- Serve with roti and top with a bit of yogurt mixed with lemon juice. You can also garnish the soup with some roasted chickpeas, avocado and fresh cilantro. Be a little creative and add your own touch to your lentil soup.
Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas):
Roasted chickpeas are simple and easy to make and you don’t really need a recipe to make them.
- Open a can of chickpeas, rinse and dry them, and toss them with some olive oil and your favorite spices (you can also use the same spices as the lentil soup recipe).
- Roast them on a baking sheet in a hot oven (400 oF) until they are crispy.